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The full report is quite long. The Executive Summary is 33 pages, and the link to all the primary material is at the end. I have put the tale together in my own way, providing emphasis in bold italics. The report made me increasingly angry, much the way I felt when I discovered that Congress had built itself a bunker against a nuclear war while simultaneously rattling sabers and without mentioning it to the public. 

COVID-19 has politicized our government’s response to a novel health crisis. Both sides have argued over disinformation and malfeasance. The report on the 737 MAX does not have that political emotional gist, but it uncovers very distressing behavior motivated not by politics, but by greed and an abrogation of responsibility. It is difficult to reduce a 33-page...

Alas, not. This is about decision-making when views conflict regarding whether personal liberty outweighs public rights, health, and safety.  This is about judicial ego - and who gets to fill the vacant shoes left by Justice Scalia. And this is about who makes legal decisions regarding science - when the science is in doubt.

"…this is just insane…. The federal government lacks the power to require its [own] employees to be vaccinated?"

Steve Vladeck, law professor at the University of Texas

According to Judge Jeffrey Brown: the...

Air pollution epidemiology has tended to emphasize premature mortality; the NIH database lists over 3000 papers with those terms in the title or abstract. But no specific causes of death are uniquely linked to air pollution; studies have focused on non-accidental, cardio-respiratory, and cancer deaths. Fatalities reported in these studies are rare, typically < 0.5% of the population [1], implying that victims are not selected randomly but may comprise the frailest subjects having the most significant exposures. By and large, in the U.S., these studies have been designed to support regulatory interests under the Clean Air Act rather than scientific inquiry. EPA selects the pollutants of concern, the locations to be monitored (outdoors), and the timeframes of interest. Locations range...

As Stat reports,

"GSK has made a corporate decision that while it wants to help in public health emergencies, it cannot continue to do so in the way it has in the past. …Merck has said while it is committed to getting its Ebola vaccine across the finish line it will not try to develop a vaccine that protects against other strains of Ebola and the related Marburg virus."

Do these large corporations have a broader social responsibility to create these vaccines? In truth, who is better equipped, than Big Pharma to develop and bring vaccines to the scale required for a pandemic? But vaccines have a tumultuous history, not the rise of anti-vaxxers, but with the liability that comes from...

The world is getting fatter, and public health experts don't know what to do about it. As we discussed in part one, a wide variety of interventions, everything from calorie labels to soda taxes, have failed to reduce obesity rates to any significant extent. Yet researchers working in this field can't bring themselves to give up on policies designed to “nudge” (or even coerce) consumers into making healthier food choices.

Here I want to examine why these interventions haven't worked and why many obesity experts seem to have such a hard time accepting this fact. Nobody knows how to rid the world of obesity, but the considerations below should at least point us in the right...

Assisted dying has been legal in Canada since 2016, allowing euthanasia/MAID for those suffering chronic disability – even if not life-threatening, coupled with an “unbearable suffering” subjectively determined by the patient. Nevertheless, medical institutions are still free to ban it within their facilities. In 2019, the Quebec Superior Court found Canada’s MAID law too restrictive. While current legislation excludes eligibility for MAID for individuals with a mental illness, this...

The easiest method I found to grade a web sites potential reliability was to do a word search for popular categories I was very familiar with, such as organic vs. conventionally grown food, antioxidants, free radicals, chemophobia, supplements, detox diets, anti-inflammatory foods, etc., and see how they handled these issues. I felt that if they addressed issues I was very familiar with poorly, they would be just as likely to handle the information in areas I was less familiar with in a similar way.

It did not take long to realize how difficult it is for the average consumer to sift through the quagmire of misinformation and try to make some sort of practical sense of the media’s take on the “science.” Today, I want to explain why the ACSH is so important to consumers.

A...

Last week, anti-vaxxers protests shut down the mass vaccination program underway at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. In Israel, the global poster child for a successful vaccination program, anti-vaxxers are making vaccine appointments, then canceling them at the last moment - causing needless waste of a still precious commodity. They’re also making threatening robocalls warning parents that the vaccine causes illness and death, using false statistics to back themselves up.

What, if anything, can be done?

Much of the anti-vax message is disseminated on social...

Recent rumors speculate that ivermectin and Pfizer's promising experimental Covid drug PF-07321332 (1) are both inhibitors of the viral main protease (Mpro) (2) and can therefore be used interchangeably to treat Covid infections. It's gotten so silly that a new term has been invented – "Pfizermectin," implying that Pfizer's Paxlovid is little more than an expensive, big-pharma ripoff of ivermectin. This rumor really has legs, so let's examine whether there is anything to it. Are ivermectin and PF-07321332, more commonly known as Paxlovid the same? Similar? (Note: The active component of Paxlovid is PF-07321332; another drug called ritonavir is added to prolong its half-life.) No, they are not.

To be able to compare ivermectin and PF-...

As a volunteer patient advocate, I do my best to stay current on declarations of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, concerning the treatment of acute and chronic pain.  Thus I recently reviewed the CDC "Get Informed" page on prescription opioid basics [https://www.cdc.gov/rxawareness/information/index.html].  In my view, a better description of the page might be "get misinformed". 

It is time for CDC to withdraw this page to correct its many errors and distortions.  As a principal author of the 2016 CDC Guidelines on the prescription of opioids to adults with chronic pain, Dr. Debra Houry is responsible for many of these errors and is thus addressed in this open letter. In the order that...